Soldotna sweeps Skyview

Posted: Sunday, January 23, 2005

 

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  Soldotna's Dan Spindler scoops the ball in front of Skyview's William VanHoose, Jeff Dolifka and Gregory Bosick. Photo by M. Scott Moon

Soldotna's Ryan Hall goes up for a shot during Friday's game at Skyview.

Photo by M. Scott Moon

The Soldotna High School boys basketball team established an early lead against Skyview Friday, then withstood a furious Panthers rally for a 53-52 Northern Lights Conference victory in a game played at Skyview.

The Soldotna girls also posted a win against their crosstown rivals, defeating Skyview 53-32.

"We ought to play four quarters like that," said Skyview boys coach Dave Blossom as the Panthers headed for the locker room after outscoring Soldotna 19-7 in the fourth quarter.

And if Friday's game is any indication, the NLC-Southern Division, which includes Kenai and Homer as well as the Stars and the Panthers, should be a fun one to watch this season.

"This region is going to be ever so close," said Soldotna coach Joe Trujillo. "Every game is going to come down to the last three or four minutes."

Blossom included the Northern Division teams in his assessment of the region.

"All eight teams — in the eight years that I've been at Skyview, this is probably the tightest and the closest I've seen all eight. One any given night, any team can beat anyone," Blossom said.

In Friday's game, the Stars led by nine points, 27-18, at the half and expanded their lead to 13, 46-33, as James Hilbish hit a long jumper from just inside the 3-point arc to beat the buzzer at the end of the third quarter.

The Panthers turned it on for the fourth quarter, though, as Brian Blossom hit back-to-back 2-point baskets with just over two minutes left to play to cut Soldotna's lead to single-digits.

Skyview, using a full-court press, was able to create several more turnovers and narrowed the deficit to a single point, 51-50, on a basket by Jeff Dolifka with under 10 seconds to play.

The Stars quickly inbounded the ball to Tony Besse, who was immediately fouled with five seconds to go.

With his team in the double-bonus, Besse came up with two clutch free throws for a 53-50 lead.

Skyview's Blossom quickly pushed the ball up the floor and was fouled with two seconds to play. Blossom hit both of his free throws to again narrow the margin to one point, then the Panthers set up their press in an attempt to steal Soldotna's inbounds pass.

The Stars attempted a court-length pass, and while Alex Turnbull wasn't able to come down with Besse's long throw, he did knock it out of bounds at the opposite end of the court, leaving the Panthers with eight-tenths of a second to get off one more shot, which fell well short of its mark.

Kelly Seggerman led the Stars with 19 points while Matt Hicks finished with 10 points. Brian Blossom led the Panthers with 19 points.

"We shot ourselves in the foot in the first quarter," Dave Blossom said. "We had eight turnovers, and they scored 10 points off those turnovers."

Blossom also said a better effort at the foul line, where the Panthers were 16-for-28 (57 percent), could have made a difference.

"If we could've made a couple more, we'd have won it," Blossom said.

Much of the Panthers' early struggles could be attributed to Soldotna's defense, and Trujillo was pleased with the way his squad helped each other out.

"It won't show up on the scoresheet, but Dan Spindler played an incredibly tough defensive game. His help defense is what expanded our lead early in the game," Trujillo said.

The Stars focused on shutting down Skyview's top shooters early in the game with good success, holding Brian Blossom to just five points in the first half.

"I thought our help defense was phenomenal tonight," said Soldotna's Seggerman.

Seggerman said that over the last few games, the Stars have come out strong but have seen leads shrink late in the game.

"I just think we need to stay focused longer," Seggerman said. "When we get up by 12 or 14, we lay back a little bit. If they hit two or three shots, they're right back in it."

Seggerman said he was impressed with Skyview's defense late in the game.

"They had a pretty nice press. There were holes in it — we just never found them," Seggerman said.

Dave Blossom said he was thrilled to see his squad fighting until the final buzzer.

 

Soldotna's Dan Spindler scoops the ball in front of Skyview's William VanHoose, Jeff Dolifka and Gregory Bosick.

Photo by M. Scott Moon

"We're real happy and proud of the guys and the way they came back," Blossom said. "If we can just put four quarters of basketball together like we played the last two or three, we'll be right there."

Soldotna girls 53, Skyview 32

The Panthers kept pace with the Stars through the first half with some hot perimeter shooting, but Skyview shooters went cold in the second half as Soldotna ran away with the win.

"We just came out and played hard. We wanted it pretty bad," said Soldotna's Christa Kennedy. "(In the second half) we picked up the intensity and started playing harder defense to get turnovers."

The Stars opened the game on a 10-0 run as the Panthers had trouble hanging on to the ball in the opening minutes. Skyview began to find its range late in the quarter, though, as Anna Blake put the Panthers on the board with two points off a fast break, then followed that with a jumper for two. Shelley Heffner followed with an outside jumper to cut the deficit to four points, 10-6, and the Panthers kept it close for the rest of the half, even leading by a point, 17-16, on a second-quarter put-back from Christina Shadura.

Soldotna snatched the momentum back to open the second half, extending a 22-17 halftime lead to 10 points, 29-19, early in the third quarter.

Brittany Howard led the Stars with 12 points while Mikala Smith scored 11. Heffner was Skyview's top scorer with six points.

Skyview coach Wade Marcuson attributed the Panthers' cold shooting in part to their problems handling Soldotna's one-three-one trapping defense.

"We got frustrated by the press and had trouble handling the trap," Marcuson said. "We weren't taking the shots we needed to take."

The Panthers also weren't getting any second chances as the Stars were dominant inside, preventing penetration and grabbing most of the rebounds.

"The kids put some things together," said Stars coach Mark Tuter. "Our offense worked a little better than it has been and our defense seems like it's getting better all the time."

"We've been working on our rebounding quite a bit in practice. It's one of our weaker spots," Kennedy said. "I felt like we pushed them pretty hard. We went out and played our game, not their game."

Girls

STARS 53, PANTHERS 32

Soldotna 14 8 14 17 — 53

Skyview 11 6 6 9 — 32

SOLDOTNA (53) — M. Smith 3 1-2 11, McCown 2 1-2 5, Cleveland 0 0-0 0, Gardner 1 0-0 3, Kennedy 3 3-6 9, Stenga 0 2-2 2, Wilbanks 1 2-4 4, Howard 3 6-9 12, Bell 0 0-0 0, Barker 0 0-0 0, Marey 0 1-3 1, Denna 1 0-2 2, Blackburn 2 0-0 4, Sanchez 0 0-0 0. Totals — 17 16-30 53.

SKYVIEW (32) — Heffner 2 2-2 6, M. Fay 0 5-8 5, Van Ryzin 1 0-0 2, Dreifuerst 1 2-4 5, Blake 2 1-2 5, L. Smith 1 1-4 3, Shadura 2 0-0 4, A. Fay 1 0-0 2. Totals — 10 11-20 32.

3-point goals — Soldotna 2 (M. Smith, Gardner), Skyview 1 (Dreifuerst). Total fouls — Soldotna 14, Skyview 22. Fouled out — Van Ryzin.

Boys

STARS 53, PANTHERS 52

Soldotna 16 11 19 7 — 53

Skyview 7 11 15 19 — 52

SOLDOTNA (53) — Turnbull 1 2-2 4, Harp 0 0-0 0, Hilbish 2 0-0 4, Hall 2 2-2 6, Besse 2 4-7 8, Roberts 0 0-2 0, Spindler 1 0-0 2, Hicks 3 4-6 10, Seggerman 8 3-5 19. Totals — 19 15-24 53.

SKYVIEW (52) — VanHoose 1 4-4 7, Foister 0 0-0 0, Rowell 1 0-0 3, Dolifka 3 1-4 7, Bosick 1 1-2 3, B. Blossom 6 7-12 19, Singleton 3 2-2 8, Hering 2 1-4 3. Totals — 17 16-28 52.

3-point goals — Skyview 2 (VanHoose, Rowell). Total fouls — Soldotna 17, Skyview 20. Fouled out — Hall.

Homer girls 56, Skyview 32

The Homer girls put the clamps on early, limiting Skyview to only 11 points in the first half en route to a 56-32 win Saturday at Homer.

Allison Horazdovsky led the Mariners with 14 points, while Baily Lowney pitched in 12 as Homer had a balanced scoring attack against the Panthers.

Skyview was led by Shelly Heffner's eight points and Nicole Van Ryzin's seven.

Girls

MARINERS 56, PANTHERS 32

Homer 17 19 5 15 — 56

Skyview 6 5 10 11 — 32

HOMER (56) — Bornheimer 3 1-2 7, Gruber 0 0-0 0, Pollack 2 3-5 7, Creamer 4 0-0 8, Conley 0 0-0 0, Horazdovsky 7 0-3 14, McKinstry 1 0-0 2, Siekaniac 3 0-0 6, Lowney 4 2-2 12. Totals — 24 6-12 56.

SKYVIEW (32) — Heffner 3 2-3 8, Thornton 0 0-0 0, M. Fay 0 0-0 0, Van Ryzin 3 1-2 7, Dreiquist 1 0-0 2, Blake 1 0-4 3, Smith 2 0-1 5, Shadura 1 1-2 3, A. Fay 2 0-0 4. Totals — 13 4-12 32.

3-point goals — Homer 2 (Lowney 2), Skyview 1 (Blake). Total fouls — Homer 11, Skyview 15. Fouled out — none.

Skyview boys 59, Homer 55

The Skyview boys team used a small run in the third quarter to pull away from Homer and then hung on the rest of the way, as the Panthers pulled out a 59-55 win Saturday at Homer.

Skyview's Brian Blossom dropped in a game-high 24 points in the win.

Homer was led by Luke Gilbert's 20 points and Jamey Smith's 17.

Boys

PANTHERS 59, MARINERS 55

Skyview 16 13 13 17 — 59

Homer 17 13 8 17 — 55

SKYVIEW (59) — Merritt 0 0-0 0, Van Hoose 4 0-0 9, Foister 0 0-0 0, Rowell 1 4-8 6, Dolifka 1 5-7, 7, Bosick 3 2-3 8, Blossom 9 5-5 24, Singleton 0 0-0 0, McMilan 0 0-0 0, Herring 1 1-2 5. Totals — 20 17-24 59.

HOMER (55) — Ju. Smith 0 2-4 2, Taylor 1 0-0 2, Gilbert 7 4-4 20, Siekaniac 3 3-6 9, Isenhour 0 0-0 0, Trowbridge 1 2-2 4, Ja. Smith 7 3-3 17, Thompson 0 1-2 1. Totals — 19 15-21 55.

3-point goals — Skyview 2 (Blossom, Van Hoose), Homer 2 (Gilbert 2). Total fouls — Skyview 16, Homer 17. Fouled out — Van Hoose.

Nikiski girls 61, Soldotna 39

The Nikiski girls outscored the Stars in every quarter, including 32-17 in the second half, as they went on to a 61-39 win at Soldotna.

Nikiski's Sarah Herrin scored 11 points in the third quarter as Nikiski continued to stretch their lead after halftime.

Herrin finished with a game-high 25 points, while Hannah Thompson had 13, and Sasha Auldridge pitched in 10.

Christa Kennedy paced the Stars with 14 points and Mikala Smith added 11.

Nikiski boys 62, Soldotna 57

The Nikiski boys drained nine 3-pointers and used a 23-point fourth quarter to pick up a win against the Stars at Soldotna.

Nikiski's Steven Taylor knocked down four 3-pointers and exploded for 22 points, with 12 coming in the final period.

Nikiski made their free throws as well, hitting on 15 of 20 from the charity stripe.

Soldotna had a big game from big-man Matt Hicks, who dropped in 24 points, but Soldotna couldn't match Nikiski's hot shooting.

Girls

BULLDOGS 61, STARS 39

Nikiski 13 16 16 16 — 61

Soldotna 12 10 8 9 — 39

NIKISKI (61) — Lee 1 0-0 2, Carlson 1 1-2 3, Gladden 3 0-0 6, Griffel 1 0-0 2, Auldridge 3 3-4 10, Thompson 3 7-9 13, Herrin 8 6-6 25, Hitchcock 0 0-0 0, Pritchard 0 0-0 0, Jorgenson 0 0-0 0. Totals — 20 17-21 61.

SOLDOTNA (39) — Smith 5 1-2 11, McCown 1 0-0 2, Cleveland 0 0-0 0, Gardner 0 0-0 0, Kennedy 7 0-0 14, Stenga 0 0-2 0, Wilbanks 4 0-0 8, Howard 0 0-0 0, Marey 0 0-0 0, Denna 0 0-0 0, Blackburn 2 0-0 4. Totals — 19 1-4 39.

3-point goals — Nikiski 4 (Herrin 3, Auldridge). Total fouls — Nikiski 7, Soldotna 17. Fouled out — none.

Boys

BULLDOGS 62, STARS 57

Nikiski 12 10 17 23 — 62

Soldotna 14 13 11 19 — 57

NIKISKI (62) — Hemphill 1 0-0 3, Taylor 6 6-7 22, Killic 1 4-4 6, Fagan 0 0-0 0, Curren 1 1-2 3, Holloway 5 3-4 15, Heitz 0 0-0 0, Vance 1 0-0 3, Cook 0 0-0 0, McGahan 4 1-3 10. Totals — 19 15-20 62.

SOLDOTNA (57) — Turnbull 0 0-0 0, Harp 1 0-0 2, Hilbush 0 0-0 0, Hall 5 1-1 12, Besse 2 0-0 4, Carver 0 0-0 0, Roberts 0 2-2 2, Spindler 6 0-0 12, Hicks 11 2-3 24, Seggerman 0 1-2 1. Totals — 25 6-8 57.

3-point goals — Nikiski 9 (Taylor 4, Holloway 2, Hemphill, Vance, McGahan), Soldotna 1 (Hall). Total fouls — Nikiski 8, Soldotna 20. Fouled out — Besse.



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